Our Christmas came a day early since we got to skype with Jordan yesterday (it was Christmas in Japan). We had a great time being able to see and hear her and learn about everything that is in her email a day early. I'm soooo excited about the baptism she has scheduled. I believe I mentioned this in one of the first blog posts when she got to Sado but I'll say it again - there have been 3 baptisms in Sado in the 22 years it's been open to missionary work yet the church has kept it open because the worth of a soul is great in the sight of God. There will now be 4 baptisms after Yamaji San is baptised - Jordan has such a great spirit and has worked really hard to try to find people to teach. I'm so happy she is having this blessing.
It really is the most wunderful time of the year!!
Yamaji San is getting baptized!!
Yamaji San is progressing so fast!! We shared a scripture over the phone when we were in Niigata and asked her if she would read 1 Nephi 11. She told us she would and that she was praying for our safety on the ferry ride home the next day. We had a lesson with her innight when we got home from Niigata. We asked her if she had read the chapter we gave her and she said she read from 1 Nephi 1-11! She read 11 chapters in one night!!! She had really good questions about it too so it was really nice that we had a member there for that lesson because my Japanese is not nearly good enough to explain answers to her in depth questions. We ended the lesson by extending a baptismal invite and she said yes!!! YAMAJI SAN IS GETTING BAPTIZED ON !! She wrote it down in her little planner and asked us what time and everything!! We had a lesson with her again and she read 7 more chapters in the Book of Mormon. She came to church and we had a short lesson with her after church and we weren't going to have a lesson at night since it was Christmas, but she asked us if we could! So we had a short lesson with her at night and she prayed out loud for the first time (she just likes praying by herself because she's scared she'll mess up), but she did it and it was one of the most sincere prayers I've ever heard. I am so excited for her and have already seen a change in her because of the gospel.
Making Japanese doors:
Reimi San, our English club student, invited us to a really cool service opportunity. She picked us up from the church and we went to a vacant house and refurbished some sliding doors. Apparently, there are over 3000 vacant/abandoned houses on sado and she wants to work on them and make it so people can buy and live in them again. So we went to this really old, super traditional Japanese house and we refurbished 5 sliding doors. They kind of had a stained glass effect because we put paper behind it (pictures below). They looked way fun and cute and it was a really cool service opportunity.
Branch Christmas party:
We had a little Christmas party on the 23rd and it reminded me of a family party I would have back home. Everyone brought food and we all sang and ate a ton. Reimi San also came and we were able to give her a Book of Mormon and we committed her to read some of it.
Christmas in Japan:
The traditional Japanese Christmas dinner is fried chicken (specifically KFC) and cake. I guess that's what they think Americans eat for Christmas although my family definitely didn't have fried chicken for Christmas dinner. Sister Boden realized she had choclate cake mix and I realized that I had chicken so we figured we would make a traditional Japanese Christmas dinner. We fried the chicken and baked the cake and had them for dinner. It was delicious!! We also made gingersnap cookies which taste just like Christmas. My real highlight though was skyping my family! It was so amazing seeing all of their faces and hearing their voices. I'm so grateful for their continuous love and support.
I'm so happy to be in Japan during this time a year and I'm so happy to be a missionary!! I love this time of year. I'm so thankful for everyone in my life and I'm so grateful for my Savior and Heavenly Father I saw a ton of little miracles this week and I know it's all thanks to my Heavenly Father. I hope you all had an amazing Christmas and have an amazing New Year!
Word of the week:
Pronunciation: oi-she (not really sure how to say it phonetically, so good luck)
1. We went to the Sado gold mine and this bar of gold was so heavy, I couldn't pick it up at all!!
2. Yamaji San and she gave us little Christmas presents
3. What a good looking fam I have
4. Reimi San and our doors we made!! It's called shoji
5. Got my fam and the tissues ready haha
6. I'm making the fried chicken and Boden shimai is making the chocolate cake
7. Our gingersnap cookies!!
8. Two of the doors we made!!
I second Jordan's gratitude and sincerely thank you for your support via emails, prayers, snail mail or just a thought. I hope you had a Merry Christmas and I wish you a Happy New Year and an awesome 2017.